New section of Chichén Itzá to open to the public 

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Stone pillars sculpted into human form support the ceiling of a previously off-limits structure in Chicén Viejo. Photo: INAH

A previously off-limits area of Chichén Itzá is about to open to the public for the very first time.

Known as Chichén Viejo, this section of México’s most visited archaeological site will be officially inaugurated by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Saturday, Sept. 2.

As a security precaution, Chiché Itzá will be closed to visitors for the day but reopen on Sept. 3, including access to Chichén Viejo — according to INAH.

However, sources close to Yucatán Magazine working at the INAH claim that access to Chichén Viejo may be delayed due to a land dispute. So stay tuned. 

Chichén Viejo, or “Old Chichén,” is so named because its structures predate, by hundreds of years, Postclassic structures like the Pyramid of Kukulcán and the Grand Ballcourt. 

Earlier: Let’s talk about that ‘Mayan scoreboard’ found at Chichén Itzá

Chichén Viejo home to several structures including a Maya corbel arch, the House of the Snails, the House of the Moon, and the so-called Palace of the Phalluses.

As the first day this part of the site will be open to the public will fall on a Sunday — when entrance is free to nationals and residents — even longer lines than usual are expected. 

Chichén Viejo, Yucatán. Photo: INAH

It had been previously stated that Chichén Viejo would have its own access and require a stand-alone ticket, but for now this does not seem to be the case. 

The area has been under exploration since 1998. An estimated 2 million people visit Chichén Itzá each year. It was founded as a Mayan pilgrimage center by the Itza, or “water sorcerers.”

For more on Chichén Itzá click here to view dozens of related features and articles. 

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy, and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.
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